National HIV Testing Week

National HIV testing week kickstarted earlier this week with the aim to promote regular testing among key populations. With hopes to reduce the numbers of undiagnosed people and those diagnosed late, the campaign stands to raise awareness and increase knowledge of HIV testing in communities most affected by HIV and the general population.

Earlier this week we caught up with Beatrice Nabulya,Testing and Volunteer Lead at Croydon’s AIDS Healthcare Foundation UK to learn more about their work and their upcoming community event.

Tell us about the AIDS Healthcare Foundation UK (AHF)

Here at AHF UK we provide free, anonymous HIV tests and advice to residents living in Croydon and wider South West London with the hope to support early diagnosis and fight the stigma of HIV and AIDS. Last year was our first full year of activity where we completed over 1000 tests at our test sites and through a at home self-testing pilot service.

How do you support local residents?

Early diagnosis of HIV leads to better health outcomes, and HIV testing week is great opportunity for Croydon residents to get tested at one of our test sites and to encourage those around them to do the same.

There is still a stigma around HIV, but people shouldn’t be fearful to reach out and ask questions. Here at AHF we provide a safe space, free of judgement for people to gain support. We work closely with NHS Croydon and community providers deliver sexual health information and link those diagnosed with HIV into treatment and support services.

How can people get tested?

We provide rapid HIV tests at two centrally located testing sites in Croydon. Anyone can book an appointment or seek advice using our confidential booking system on Whatsapp or emailing: info.uk@aidshealth.org.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll be happy to support you.

Tell us about your upcoming Community Health Day?

On Sunday 13th February we’ll be working in partnership with NHS Croydon, Croydon Council’s public health team, Africa Advocacy Foundation, Croydon BME Forum and the Asian Resource Centre Croydon to deliver a community health day at St Chad’s Church in South Norwood.

We’re planning to provide HIV finger prick tests and give free health checks for diabetes and blood pressure. The NHS and Public Health Croydon will also be with us to offer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for anyone aged 16+ years old along with COVID-19 testing.

Sunday will be a great opportunity to ask health questions and enjoy some free food and entertainment. We hope the day will allow residents to connect with one another in a safe and comfortable environment as we champion a wonderful cause.

All are welcome, so please come down for a chat!

Location:

St Chad’s Church
5 Whitworth Rd
South Norwood
Croydon
SE25 6XN

Time: 4-8pm

COVID-19 Vaccination and testing: 4-7pm

Find out more about National HIV testing week